Untitled Document

March 2017

CCIS NEWS

Business Oscars awarded for economic achievements

 

On 6 March 2017, 6 businesspeople received the Award of the CCIS for extraordinary economic and entrepreneurial achievements. This was now for the 49th time that the Chamber has given this award as recognition to businessmen for their many years of successful company management.

The CCIS Award for 2016 went to:

  • Andrej Bajuk, CEO, TEM Čatež, d. d., Velika Loka
  • Andrej Božič, Director-General, Steklarna Hrastnik d. o. o., Hrastnik
  • Albert Erman, Director, MAGNETI Ljubljana, d. d., Ljubljana
  • Dr. Tomaž Kmecl, Director General, KOLEKTOR ETRA d. o. o., Ljubljana
  • Dr. Mariana Karla Rebernik, Director, Atotech Slovenija d. d., Podnart
  • Jernej Zupančič, Director, CLEANGRAD d. o. o., Ljutomer

Advanced adhesive and sealant technologies for tackling industrial challenges

The industry of adhesives and sealants has turned into a success story. It contributes to the growth of the economy, and fosters sustainable development and innovations. This was highlighted by over 50 participants at the 1st conference on advanced adhesive and sealant technologies taking place on 8 March in the organisation of the Chemical Industry Association supported by the Association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry (FEICA).

Wages grow faster than productivity!

Since 2007, labour costs in the industrial sector have grown by 43%, which is significantly more than the increase in productivity (31%) and prices (19%). On average, the minimum wage in the Republic of Slovenia has increased more than in the Visegrad countries and also more than in EU-28 over the last 10 years. Under such circumstances, wrong pay policy may cause us a lot of harm and slow down the process of catching up with more developed countries; according to the conclusion of the public tribune on pay policy organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia on 3 March 2017.

No imposed new electricity duty

The CCIS welcomes the decision that the contribution for priority dispatching is for the time being out of the question. The burden of priority dispatching would largely be borne by the economy and 25% by households. With this decision, the economy has saved at least EUR 18 million of additional costs; however, there exist certain speculations about the intention to raise even more funds to that end.

Members of the Chamber of Accounting Services (ZRS) get 50% of their premium refunded

The members of the Association of Accounting Services (ZRS) have once again achieved an annual saving for their professional liability insurance (on average about 50% of their annual premium was refunded). The Association of Accounting Services that is part of the CCIS managed to prepare an insurance scheme for professional liability together with two Slovenian insurance companies, which is better than the current insurance products found on the Slovenian insurance market. The said insurance scheme offers two advantages to members of the Chamber of Accounting Services:

  • in terms of premium: a reasonable initial insurance premium and individual bonus as well as participation in the underwriting business result (total bonus)
  • in terms of quality: better insurance cover compared to the insurance products on the Slovenian market.

Renaissance of small traders

In 2016, the strategic document “ZMTS CHAIN / I buy local products” was drafted and certain activities of the Slovenian Association of Small Traders (ZMTS) under the auspices of the Chamber of Small Business and Trade at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia were carried out. By the end of the year, the “Chain” was joined by 56 more members and 9 new were added this year in January. According to the estimations, there are still up to 400 small food traders in Slovenia. The plan is to increase the number of members to more than 100 by the end of 2017. The turnover generated by members amongst themselves is growing each month. In January, it reached EUR 335,000 and could even exceed EUR 5 million at year-end. For long-term viability, even closer connections will need to be formed and own trademarks created.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS

21 March 2017: 1st strategic conference for sustainable construction industry

The conference will discuss how and when Slovenia will be able to satisfy the requirements that will make our market in the field of construction more business-friendly for enterprises active in the construction sector, and which will lead to the opening of new workplaces attractive also to young people born in Slovenia.

24 March 2017: Slovenian – Swiss business meeting

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia will host a business delegation from the Swiss canton Thurgau. All interested companies are invited to take part in this business event and eye-to-eye meetings held with the members of the delegation.

27 March 2017: Presidents of the Republic of Slovenia and of the Republic of Poland appearing at the CCIS for a business conference

On the occasion of the official visit of Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, in Slovenia, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and Polish-Slovenian Business Club Triglav-Rysy will convene a business conference aimed at outlining business and investment opportunities in Poland. The participants at the event will also be addressed by Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, and Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia.

28 March: Postojna: 4th SME conference: Management of urban centres

The catch line of the conference is "Agile, smart and connected cities". The conference offers an opportunity to get familiar with good practices from abroad and from Slovenia, contributing to agile, smart and connected cities through partnerships with entrepreneurs, and promoting entrepreneurship in urban centres.

4 April 2017: 3rd Slovenian - Kosovo business conference with bilateral meetings (B2B)

Slovenian companies and entrepreneurs in the field of wood-processing and furniture industry are invited to join the business delegation formed for the purposes of promotional exhibition Slovenia Design Showroom Milano 2017 from 4 April to 5 April.

4 and 5 April 2017: Expert delegation and B2B meetings, Milan

Slovenian companies and entrepreneurs in the field of wood-processing and furniture industry are invited to join the business delegation formed for the purposes of promotional exhibition Slovenia Design Showroom Milano 2017 from 4 April to 5 April.

5 April 2017: Business delegation from the RUSSIAN FEDERATION – ORYOL REGION

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, the Public Agency SPIRIT and Oryol Oblast organises a visit of the delegation of Russian businessmen at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
The Russian delegation led by the Governor of Oryol Oblast Mr Vadim Potomsky will be accompanied by representatives of 14 Russian companies from that region engaged in the field of electricity generation, engineering, agro-food processing, leather and rubber industry, building industry and catering.
On the occasion of the visit of the Russian delegation at the CCIS, bilateral business meetings (B2B) with interested Slovenian companies will be held.

10 and 11 April: Utilisation of secondary raw materials - a two day international conference

The purpose of the event is to expose activities in Slovenia and beyond, which are in support of circular economy transition and above all identifying the opportunities and challenges which circular economy paradigm represents for the industry. In the frame of the conference a workshop of industrial symbiosis will be organized.

 
AGENDAS

Postponed Investment Conference and Summit

The Summit of Foreign-Owned Companies and the Investment Conference have been postponed from 3 April to 30 May. The reason for the postponement is the information obtained that the drafting of the proposal for the Investment Promotion Act has been rescheduled to a later date. Mr Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister for Economic Development and Technology, has already confirmed his participation at the event on 30 May 2017.

Realised actions from agendas proposed by the CCIS

The Government has published the 9th report on the realisation of proposals coming from the economic sector with the aim of improving business environment and boosting competitiveness. According to its statistics, as many as 33 actions have been fully and 11 actions partially implemented from Agenda 46+. From the Small Business Agenda, the Government notes that 16 proposals have been fully and 6 partially realised, whereas from the Industrial Policy Manifesto, 10 proposals have so far been fully and 18 partially fulfilled. An overview of the realisation of actions from the Industrial Policy Manifesto will be prepared by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia for the autumn Slovenian Business Summit. The estimations provided by the CCIS are usually stricter and more realistic.

 
BETTER REGULATION

9 March 2017: Key proposals and remarks of representatives from the business sector for a smart health reform

Representatives of all commercial organisations desire a health reform that would enable high-quality and approachable health care for a fair price. We also wish to be actively engaged in the preparation of a comprehensive health reform. However, it must be noted that the proposal put on the table does not constitute a comprehensive health reform. In particular, it lacks health care reorganisation.

27 February 2017: Five reasons to exercise caution in wage increases

Why requirements for increasing the lowest rates of pay are neither fair, transparent nor sensible.
Under the auspices of the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS), 12 trade unions require the lowest basic wage from the 1st tariff classification, the average gross amount of which, based on the Collective Agreement, is less than EUR 500, to be increased to the level of minimum wage. Since 1 January, the gross amount of minimum wage is EUR 805, which constitutes a 61% increase! Of course, it got the approval of the Public Sector Trade Unions on the very next day.

During the last days, I met some people who actually thought that the law stipulated and allowed for less than a minimum wage to be received for full working time. Or did they believe that where allowances were paid in addition to the minimum wage, these relied on the generosity of the Government, not the company. None of this is true. There are many more reasons substantiating the fact that these requirements are as demagogic as they are foolish.

22 February 2017: MB of the CCIS: We demand better organisation of health care

The Management Board of the CCIS demands the following:

  • the public discussion on the proposal for the Health Care and Health Insurance Act (ZZVZZ) to be resumed;
  • an overall analysis of the financial impact of new proposals;
  • a simultaneous legislative discussion that would ensure a more rational use, optimisation of the health care system and services of higher quality;
  • harmonising changes of the health care legislation with the CCIS.

15 February 2017: How many more bills will we have to foot for political mistakes?

The burden of priority dispatching will again largely be borne by the economy and 25% by households. One Euro a month per household may even lead to several EUR 100,000 of additional costs per year for companies.

 
DATA SECTION

It is encouraging to see that this year’s trends in the exchange of goods have remained relatively high. Exports in January 2017 amounted to EUR 2.1 billion and were by 14% higher than exports in January 2016, while imports amounted to EUR 2.05 billion and were thus by 17.9% higher than imports in January 2016. Compared to other months of the year, January tends to be a week month for the exchange of goods. Despite this, the situation this year changed as exports and even imports exceeded last year’s average exports and imports (exports by 0.6% and imports by 1.9%). A surplus in the exchange of goods in January was recorded for the fourth year in a row and was highest in January 2016. The forecasts of our main economic partners are promising as well since in Germany the largest percentage of companies in the last three years has anticipated growth. It is also worth mentioning that the expectations concerning the growth of nominal revenues have been lifted, meaning that companies expect a healthy increase of prices. Employment growth is expected to be particularly high in Spain and Germany, and somehow weaker in France and Italy. In Slovenia, the slightly higher February inflation rate is the result of the basket structure, of which energy products constitute a higher share. Retail trade is evidencing a record growth (+4% without fuels in January), whereas trade with motor vehicles is most prominent. In January, there were 6,600 new vehicles registered, which is by one tenth more than in the same period of last year. A good sentiment of consumers as well as the expectations regarding the growth of interest rate are already having effect on increased prices of residential property, whereas the credit expansion of consumer lending even surpasses that of housing loans.

Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.

 

Growth rates in % - in comparison to the same period of previous year

Latest data

GDP – real growth

2.5

2016

Consumer prices (HICP)

2.2

Feb. 2017

Exports of goods

13.8

Jan. 2017

Imports of goods

17.9

Jan. 2017

Industrial production (manufacturing)

12.0

Dec. 2016

Retail sales w/o motor fuels (real)

4.0

Jan. 2017

Construction (real)

-5.6

Jan. 2017

Exchange rate EUR/USD

1.065

Feb. 2017

Diesel (EUR/litre)

1.189

Valid from March 14th, 2017

 

Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: poslovni.tednik@gzs.si, T: (01) 5898 000, eng.gzs.si

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